KRAAK & SMAAK

What is your name and role within the band?

My name is Wim Plug and I am one of the three core members of K&S. While colleagues Oscar and Mark are mostly involved in studio recording and DJ’ing respectively, I do all kinds of stuff such as making the dj mixes for radio or online, A&R for our label Boogie Angst and general management stuff. With Oscar I also manage and perform with our live band and I fill in for dj sets if Mark can’t make it.

How did you start?

K&S started out of the urge, well, to make and release dance and electronic music really. Mark and me have a long dj and record collecting background, and hoped to make some mark on releasing records, but lacked the playing and recording music skills to do that. Oscar on the other hand, had exactly the opposite ‘problem’, i e hadn’t found the right people to make music with. So it made sense and felt logical to hook up and try things out. And that worked really well it turned out, right from the start.

Where are you based?

All three of us live in Leiden, an old Dutch university town about 20 kms from Amsterdam. Perfectly placed between the major cities of Holland and nearby Schiphol airport – always helpful!

Please give an example of your music writing process?

Although we have involved our band vocalists a bit more in making our most recent album Juicy Fruit, most collabs feature people form the UK or the US. In the latter case, as for example with Mayer Hawthorne for “I Don’t Know Why’, the whole process takes place over the internet: sending demos back and forth, recording new pieces, vocals, etc. Until we are all satisfied really and we can finalize the track in our own studio. Sometimes we send a very rough demo loop, other times an almost finished arrangement. With ‘I Don’t Know Why’ we already had most of the music ready; Mayer came up with a lyric and recorded it mostly along the melody that was already there. I think we asked for an extra chorus and some ad libs and that was that.

Credit Photo: Renzo Candido

What are you working on right now?

With the release upcoming Juicy Fruit Remixed album we have gone full circle with the current album, so now we are focusing on brewing up fresh material again. As making an album takes time (at least in our case) and still feels quite a long way away, we are now working on individual (club) tracks. There is already one planned for release in July, on Exploited, and it feels good to be able to mess around with singles for a while; the pressure of a full album, and how it should sound, is something for later on again.

What is your gear setup?

We have our own studio in Leiden, and the basic set up there Cubase and the UAD Apollo with lots of UAD plugins. And of course our analogue synth collection with synths like the Roland Jupiter 8 (sweet!), a Juno 6, a Minimoog, etc. In case we have to record vocals on the spot, we had a small booth installed.

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

To be honest, not much time left, haha. I like the traveling bit that comes along with performing. But outside studio and stage reading, movies, etc., are my favorite pastimes. I do notice that movie soundtracks have played a role in our own productions in terms of sampling, sound and arrangements now and again, at least at the beginning of our careers, for instance Blaxploitation soundtracks, Ennio Morricone, Roy Budd, Quincy Jones. Maybe it originates from there?

How would you describe your music genre?

It’s essentially a mix of old and new: one way or the other we are able to distill an original sound from 70s and 80s funk, disco, new wave, soundtracks, pop, etc., combined with the dance, electronic and pop music sounds of today. The things we release have always been quite varied but people tell us that there always is a distinctive K&S touch to it, whatever the style or sound. Which is nice, because it means that we our own distinctive thing going on, very important.

Do you know any music theory?

Nope, I can probably play a few chords (but wouldn’t know which ones exactly, lol), but Oscar does though.

What are your plans for the future?

At the moment we are performing a lot – just came back from a USA tour, with a live show on Glastonbury as the glittering prize later on this month. Apart from that bury in the studio working on new demo’s and handling and planning new Boogie Angst releases.

How did you get into music?

I guess I just picked it up from radio first, and music programs on television, when I was young. I started buying records and started clubbing and DJ’ing. It just got deeper and deeper and apparently I had something to add to the whole scene.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Oh dear, way too much to list here to be honest, from deep house to nu disco sound to indie pop. I also try and pick up upcoming producers and vocalists for our own label. So i browse through Soundcloud – a great way to discover new stuff – a lot as well. But if I take a really quick look at what I played today, it was mostly new promo material, in this case by Andrés, Jimpster, Luxxury and Jolly Mare. Also very proud and looking forward to our upcoming Boogie Angst releases by Moods, Snacks, Feiertag and Meeka Kates. Not to mention the Juicy Fruit remix album, which has great remixes by Eli Escobar, Fouk and many more.

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

Serge Gainsbourg

Boards of Canada

Zapp

Soulwax

Tom Moulton.

When are you playing next?

For the coming period we have a number of dj and live band outings planned for the UK, Germany, Turkey, Austria, Poland, the USA, South America and of course Holland.

Please feel free to include any extra info.

The Juicy Fruit Remixed album will be released worldwide on June 30 via Jalapeno Records and includes reworks by among others Eli Escobar, Fouk, Kon, Moods, Snacks, Purple Disco Machine, Feiertag and Richard Dorfmeister.

https://www.facebook.com/KraakAndSmaak/

https://www.instagram.com/kraakandsmaak/

https://soundcloud.com/kraaksmaak

https://soundcloud.com/boogieangst

Featured Photo Credit: Anne Carolien Kohler

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